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Mother issues warning after MS girl diagnosed with ‘tick paralysis’

13 June 2018

With a 5-year-old daughter she said was unable to walk and talk, a MS mom urgently warned parents to check their children for ticks.

The girl's mother, Jessica Griffin, first noticed something was wrong last Wednesday morning (June 6), when her daughter Kailyn had trouble getting up to go to daycare.

While combing her daughter Kailin's hair, she noticed a tick on her scalp, Griffin told Mississippi News Now.

Griffin said she immediately took Kailyn to an emergency room, where doctors ran blood tests and performed a CT scan to confirm the diagnosis of tick paralysis.

"PLEASE for the love of god check your kids for ticks!" she posted.

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However, as she spent more time with her daughter, Griffin discovered some disturbing signs.

After medical examination it became clear that this paralysis ticks.

Tick paralysis is caused by a toxin released by the saliva of certain ticks when they bite someone, usually around the head or neck, he said. According to Griffin's Facebook posts, her daughter was discharged later that day and has recovered normally.

Women and children are most at risk.

Kailyn was left struggling to walk after being bitten by a tick. Scary is [an] UNDERSTATEMENT! It can start as fatigue, numbness and an increasing inability to move. If the tick is not removed, people could face facial and tongue paralysis.

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The grateful mom is hoping this experience will encourage parents to check their children for ticks on every surface and in every crease of their bodies.

In Canada, tick species that can cause paralysis are found mostly in Southern British Columbia and Manitoba, but other species, like known Lyme-disease carriers blacklegged ticks, are aggressively expanding into new territory, even urban areas. Some cases in livestock have been caused by the American dog tick, found east of Saskatchewan.

"We are going to be encountering more and more cases because we are seeing more and more ticks", said Jim Wilson, President of Canada Lyme Disease Foundation.

The paralysis is more common in animals, which are unable to check themselves for the ticks. It wasn't until she was brushing Kailyn's hair and pulling it back into a ponytail that she spotted a tick. "Kailyn woke up and couldn't walk!"

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Mother issues warning after MS girl diagnosed with ‘tick paralysis’